Goody-two shoes.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

We are four kids in the family. I am so glad that no one among us was ever hooked on prohibited substances. Even cigarettes and alcohol are never present in our social lives. I can consider our early years as very sheltered. My parents were really strict when it comes to going out with our friends.

Looking back, I am thankful that we were properly guided during our younger years. No one needed to go to a drug rehab. It was something we should be thankful for. We simply learned to choose who to hang out with. Our parents are already successful in that aspect alone.

It saddens me though that the drug addiction cases in the Philippines involve an even younger generation, as early as 12 years old! I particularly know of one family whose genius of an eldest son got hooked on drugs. His new peers in the Big City school, pressured him to try it and got addicted. He was sent to rehab and his family decided to migrate to another country.

The examples never end (heck, you can just drive by EDSA and see rugby-sniffing street-kids!). I hope they can still be saved.

Lactose intolerant

That's me. Too much milk can make my stomach really upset. Like right now.

I put milk in my coffee all the time, but just a bit of that (a teaspoon or two), I can tolerate. I finished a non-fat grande latte from Starbucks about an hour ago. It was a treat from the couple we had dinner with tonight. I forgot to say that I'd like just the tall one (they do not have short here!), R got me a grande. Ugh. I didn't realize I gulped it all, we were busy chitchatting, hehe. It probably didn't help that I also had cheese in my food during dinner at Chili's.

I guess I'll have to endure this through the night. Sigh.

We are almost one year old

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Our Anniversary is coming up! I can remember the same time last year we were almost done with our preparations and were already trying to relax waiting for our Big Day. We got married on July 1 and the preparations alone took us about a year.

During the first few months of the preparations, I was busy checking online for designs of Bridal and evening gowns (for our reception!). I was also able to collect a number of magazines, some purchased while some were lent to me by friends who got married earlier. The gown was on top of my list (not necessarily my husband's priority, hehe). I was very particular about the design -- simple but elegant, not too flashy and definitely no petticoat! In the end, I loved how my gown turned out and everyone was raving how wonderful it was on me.

Those days are still vivid in my mind and the memories make me smile until now. I cannot wait until my dear husband marries me again. :)

Joaquin is 4!

When I woke up this morning, I greeted my fave nephew (there is no other nephew! heheh) a Happy Birthday. But before I was able to kiss him, he brushed me away saying that it's not his birthday today. I think he is in denial and is waiting for his party on Saturday. It can't be his birthday today because the party is not today. You can't be right with him, I tell yah. ;) He wasn't really in the mood because he was feverish his morning but he went out with the boys. We were thinking he might just need a little bit of fresh air and some sun.

So yeah, the lone girl left (that's ME, my sister had to work) stayed at home the entire day. I was supposed to meet up with M and L for a fun day-out but L had some sort of an emergency at work so she could not take her off, of all days! I spent my day in the net, just bloghopping. Am still my lazy self. I cannot believe I am taking opps now when I should be getting ready for bed. I am not sleep deprived but my body feels I am. I told the boys to bring me some burger (I was craving for burgers for the last four days but haven't gotten the chance to buy one). They got me a double double cheese cheese & bacon from BK. You know what I did after I wolfed down that sinful sandwich? Took a nap!!!! I bet I'll be huge when we return to Manila. Thanks to Ris who decided to call and cut my trip to lalaland. :)

My sister got home from work and we all went out to celebrate our baby's day. We went bowling near Oakridge and J had fun doing his mom's game :) We were supposed to eat there but decided against it since the mall is just next door. We got some yummy garlic fries though. Haha buti na lang. My sister missed the sign that the shoes were to be rented (at $5 each!). So when the bill came, her eyes widened. Hihi. Oh well, anything for the boy, she says. She's glad the birthday boy had a blast even if we only played one game. :) We don't want to have body aches, do we? Dinner was simple. We just grabbed some chinese food, stayed a bit and strolled until it was time to go home.

Hayyyyy, the boy is growing up fast.

Mom said I should learn golf.

I do not understand why I should hit a ball and then go follow it. But that is golf. My brother in-law is into it. He wanted to teach my nephew at an early age so he brought all his clubs here in the States when they last visited Manila.

So if I should go learn it, together with my brother, we should check out Ping Golf for equipment, accessories, and apparel. That means shopping!

A quick one

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I consider it still early (been sleeping past 1am for three nights!) yet I am already very sleepy. I feel so tired. So this will be short but contemplative :)

I am sad. And I dunno why. I always always find myself feeling so low with no particular reason. I also feel lazy and bored...I just wanna lie on bed.

Anyway, we went to have my sister's car checked this afternoon (maintenance routine) and while waiting we strolled in Valley Fair. Bought a few stuff to be brought home (Manila-bound in 1.5 weeks!). We dropped by the Discovery Channel store and this Life is Good shirt caught my attention (Ane bought it for me and it is also 30% off!):

And there's another label that says:

I realized everything boils down to the choices I make, ain't it? Makes me wonder: Have I made all the right choices? At the moment, I would have answered: "Not at all". But since God sent me a message today (Life is good!), I will have to sleep for now and maybe all the negative vibes in me will go away when I wake up tomorrow.

But before that, I would like to share with you the conversation we had upon leaving the house earlier. Ane and I saw this outside and it sparked the exchange:

Ane: That's ampalaya! (bittergourd)

Me: No that's patola! (vegetable that makes a loofa..dunno the english word for it hehe)

And then Joaquin came out with his dad, shouting:

J: Hey that's a pickle!

And we all laughed :) Smart, this kid is! But of course it was not what we said it was, those are budding flowers :) Sigh, I miss him already and we are still here! One last thing, if my brother G is reading this, he'd probably be so happy to know that today, we got him this:

It is the latest Paramore CD "Riot" and am sure he can't wait to get hold of it :)

There. Notice I actually uploaded photos, these are from my mobile phone. Hmmmmm...gotta work on the trip pictures soon!

Tata for now.

Answered prayer

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

No we are not pregnant yet. Hehe.

Right after I published the photoshopped portrait below, my BIL got an email from the Bride. Apparently, she contemplated about the whole thing. No she hasn't seen my work yet. But realized that they made it hard for us to take their picture together. So she suggested a post-nup session! Hallelujiah! :)

You know I wasn't that happy with my work so I was glad they scheduled a session when they get back from their short trip. We won't be here anymore so my BIL will just send the copies to me. Yey!

**We tried printing my output and it wasn't perfect (I knew it!). But thanks Mich for praising it. I appreciate it! Hugs!

Am no expert

With Photoshop that is. But I am learning. I enjoy learning (oh well, only with regards to what I wanna do, hehe).

Anyway, do you remember the wedding we covered on the 16th? The one with no portraits of the newlyweds? So I sat in front of the laptop on Saturday and did my best to "create" a portrait.

From this:

to this:

I was very problematic because I realized we didn't have a picture of just the altar on the wedding day itself. So the background I used (and the one you see in the photoshopped one) is a shot from the previous day. Another problem while I was browsing the pictures, almost all the group shots with the couple had an obstruction that made it hard to extract just the couple (holding the arms, steeping on the gown etc etc). Or there were no obstructions but the couple's expressions just weren't "right" (not smiling, eyes closed, shouting etc etc.).

When I saw the latter picture, I knew it is the one I could work on. I had to do everything all over again (thrice!) until I got to the finished one. You bet I tried all the extraction techniques I know to get that result. I am not totally convinced I did well but Kuya Jun (and my sister and Ane) said this works for now. We will try to have it printed on 8x10 and see from there.

How about you? What do you think?

Golden Gate, Crookedest at Lombard, Coit Tower, Alcatraz and Gay Pride Parade

Monday, June 25, 2007

It is past 3pm and am still in my pj's. Hhhhmmmmmm...

Anyway, Friday and Sunday (we were just home on Saturday) were spent in SanFo. My sister had a three-day conference in Burlingame, so we dragged ourselves to explore more of the city. We were here, there and everywhere the past weekend...all on a sudden decision to drive my sister and drop her off at the hotel where the conference was held. I would have met with a fellow Bebot, Joyce since she lives somewhere there but because we have no control of where to go, I missed the opportunity (wow, a dragging sentence!). Oh, maybe the next time we come here, I could plan ahead. (whoa, I just realized that we are homebound in less than two weeks and that the 1st half of the year is almost over! Time just flew by).

Friday, we arrived at Pier 33 where we could purchase tickets for the Alcatraz tour but we found out that the trips were sold out and the next available slots were for Sunday. A cruise arrived that day and another will dock the next day so the trips were all full. We decided to buy tickets for the first trip on Sunday instead. We had so much time to spare that day as a result (my sister's sessions will end at 5pm that day). We drove around to find a really nice spot to see the Golden Gate Bridge, sought the help of the GPS. But we got lost. Hehehe. The GPS just like any other device runs on gigo system. We entered "Golden Gate park" and we were led to a well, park that is miles away from the bridge. Kuya J thought of typing "Presidio" on the GPS and we found what we were looking for, after we followed a short trail from the Crissy Field Center! There was no low fog that day (although still cold!) so we were able to get very nice pictures of the GGB. :)

Then we drove round and round again to find the Crookedest Street along Lombard :) We missed this the first time we went to SF so I was so insistent that we should find it on Friday. We found it, anyway, and even did the drive-down twice hehehe (had to brave the very steep Hyde Street!). That was just so cool! Afterwards, we stopped briefly at the Coit Tower where one can see a spectacular view of Downtown SF and the Bay. We didn't stay long coz by then, we were hungry and needed to grab some lunch already. We drove back to Palo Alto and along El Camino Real, had a very late lunch at Boston Market (traffic at 101 was terrible, an effect of the repairs being done).

Our day ended with a mad woman because we were 45 minutes late in picking her up. I told yah, we spent more than an hour on 101 just to get there (regular travel is around 20 minutes only!).

On Sunday, yesterday, we were up again early. We dropped my sister at the hotel and went straight to Pier33. We were just on time. We boarded the 930am boat and were in Alcatraz. We took advantage of the Audio tour which was really interesting and educational (took more than an hour). We missed the trek though (where the guide will show the escape points) because we had to get in the 1130 boat back to the bay (my sister is to be picked up at 1220pm). We finished the audio tour at 1115am and had to run towards the dock (10minutes walk down) so we won't miss the trip. We got in two minutes before the gates closed. :)

We parked nearby so it didn't take us too long to get into the car and start driving towards Burlingame which is just 15-20 minutes away. Upon turning at Embarcadero, traffic was slow moving. Uh-oh, we cannot be late AGAIN! We took Battery St and were detoured even before we reached Market St. And then it hit us. The Gay Pride Parade was that day! Earlier that day, we saw people in costumes and there were floats being readied. (On a side note though, I would have wanted to watch the Parade because it only comes once a year and WE WERE THERE already...sigh). By the way, to get to 101, cars must cross Market and the only accessible road was Embarcadero! And of all days, Kuya Jun and Ane forgot their mobile phones at home while I left mine on purpose. So how are we supposed to let my sister know that we will be late? We found a payphone and I was able to leave a message on Ate's supposed voicemail. We were off the hook or so we thought.

We arrived at the hotel, more than an hour late and the lady was furious. She said we almost gave her a heart attack because she could not contact any of us. She even called Alcatraz if there were any accidents of that sort. We told here we sent her a VM and she answered she didn't get any. Turned out the number I sent the VM to wasn't hers. We missed the last number (8 instead of 9). Nyeks.

We were all hungry and the ride home was freakin' silent (as if waiting for a bomb to explode). Hehe. We grabbed some late lunch at Goldilocks (yep yep!) and headed home. We all took a nap (from 330pm to 6pm, woah), attended the mass at 7pm and had pizza dinner at Round Table. My sister was in an okay mood already by then.

That's it for now, we are off to Walmart to return the Coleman inflatable bed that has a small puncture. Hehe.

If only travelling is cheap

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I would choose to travel all the time, I tell you. I like to explore other countries, cities and cultures. I wouldn't mind going alone, with Ane or my family, or with friends. I think travelling gives me a different high. I've been to different places, in and out of the Philippines, and I realized that staying at places other than home makes me happy. You know, when you get to have a break and do some soul-searching while learning new stuff? (Although being home equally makes me happy, I still yearn for other things).

One thing I learned to do while here on this side is to check online for destinations and Hotel Reservations. My sister showed me that it is indeed safe to transact online for Hotel Reservations, among other things (back in Manila, I am very apprehensive about doing business online because I am scared of scams, computer threats, and online theft!).

So while surfing online, I enjoyed looking for nice travel packages and Hotel Discounts (who wouldn't want discounts, eh?) and came across What do you think I was doing looking for hotels/motels that are cheap? Oh well, my friend Ris and I were chatting last night and a trip to Las Vegas came up. I really wanna go there so I decided to study the costs and the possibility of joining them to a trip there soon. I found out that making Hotel Reservations online are really easy-peasy. I got to compare prices and this website offers one of the cheapest packages for travel (believe me, I did look for comparisons). Their packages often include airfare and hotels and if you want additional services, car rentals too! I reckon, if I want to go to Vegas, I would want to arrive in style (by plane, of course) and not tire myself driving for 10 hours!

Yeah, I spent some precious time researching and computing for rates. And realized that, no, we can't afford another travel. Hehe. At least not yet.

Today's happenings

Thursday, June 21, 2007

What a boring title, I know.

Anyway, I woke up late this morning on the wrong side of the bed. I had an issue with Ane that I'd rather not discuss here. So I skipped brunch altogether. Although, I was sooooo hungry! Sheeesh. We cooked pancit bihon last night, and I ate a lot but that didn't satisfy me because it wasn't rice. Yeah, I was mad at someone and I punished myself. Well, that statement alone got me thinking: Huh?!?

Good thing we went out to canvass something that RL wants from here (for his baby car!) and Kuya J dragged us to Pick up Stix to grab some Asian food. Whew! We found out that the thing RL wants is cheaper than when ordered online so after we texted him, we paid for the DP already. :)

Then we dropped by an electronics' store but we haven't been there long when Joaquin decided he needed to poopoo! Now this boy has been potty trained pretty well and we are so proud of him. But his timing can just be sooooooo untimely? hhehehe. He just can't do it at home (well, he does most of the time). It's either he really can't control it or we spend too much time outside. Hehe.

A weebit later, we fetched Ate from work and we headed to The Winchester Mystery House, a tourist landmark here in SJ. Ane and I joined the 430pm tour. It would have been a very informative one but the family who joined us kept on cutting the tour guide so the poor guy seemed lost in his own words. The Victorian mansion was very interesting, though, and very eccentric at that. Afterwards, we walked through Santana Row, a very impressive upscale street that can be compared to Greenbelt :) We just pretended we belonged there, hihihi. Then off to Valley Fair mall for dinner and I also got this kikay stuff to add to my small BE possessions. :) I got it for $10 less courtesy of my sister's frequent buyer card. I am a girl! :) We also spent a few minutes at the LEGO store (man, those toys are really expensive huh? but fun to play with).

We got home before 9am and I started surfing the net. I'm still a bit disappointed at Ane but when he agreed to let me subscribe to this for a year, I can't help but smile. Nasusuhulan din naman ako. Now if only I can make him let me get this, this and join this, then I would be the happiest wife, for now. Hahaha!

And now, it past midnight...I need to get some Zzzzzzz's now. Need to be up early tomorrow for another day of escapades! :) But before that, I'll share this:

You Are 70% Weird

You're so weird, you think you're *totally* normal. Right?
But you wig out even the biggest of circus freaks!

I just found it funny that I had a hard time answering Mami Carmie's tag when I am 70% weird according to the quiz. Hehe. And another:

You Will Be a Cool Parent

You seem to naturally know a lot about parenting, and you know what kids need.
You can tell when it's time to let kids off the hook, and when it's time to lay down the law.
While your parenting is modern and hip, it's not over the top.
You know that there's nothing cool about a parent who acts like a teenager... or a drill sergeant!

Ain't that that nice to know? :) Haaaayyyyyyy. Good night!

A dollar can go a long way

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

And I mean a long way. I used to not believe in insurances (even got on a big row with a friend who wanted to sell me the service), but come to think of never knows what happens in the near future, right? So I agreed to get one for myself, a Pension Plan. For US residents though, Globe Insurance offers a $50,000 coverage for only a dollar policy.

A dollar can buy you a big bottle of Soda or a big bag of chips or two Sunday newspapers. Now, even insurance. It will be worth the investment, don't you think?


Hehe, I am stumped and actually don't know what to share! Isn't that kinda funny? For the last few weeks, I couldn't keep myself away from the internet because I had too much to say. And now, this. Hihi. So forgive me if I end up blabbing.

I wasn't able to blog yesterday because 1) I did our laundry, just a small pile this time; 2) Ane and Kuya J was fixing the local network so the printer will work with the laptop, they took too much time; 3) We went out to buy some stuff for Joaquin's birthday party on the 30th; and 4) I had a blast downloading things/freebies that I lost track of time and actually slept at 130am!

Ane wasn't happy. He hates it when I forget the time. Can't blame me, I was stuck in my own world.

Anyway, while out yesterday, we passed by Barnes & Noble in Eastridge, well just to check the place out again (Joaquin also wanted to play in the Kids' area so we gave in). We found the magazine my FIL wanted us to buy for him, although we got him the latest one. He wanted us to get him even just the backissues, but they are only sold in CD's. And then my sister came rushing to show me the latest issue of Digital Scrapbooking mag. I just had to buy it! Believe me, Ane wasn't able to stop me. Hihi. The mag was for $6.99 and guess what? It included a coupon over at Scrapping Garden for a mega kit worth $9.99! What a steal, don't you agree? So while downloading the kit, I remembered to hop on over at Ikeagoddess...and that's when I forgot about the blog led to another, one freebie to another awesome freebie (yay! I just exposed myself -- a freebie sucker!!!!)...I can't believe I missed a lot of things in just a month!

Whooot I just remembered to share this trivia (I keep on cutting myself!): Did you know that the designer of the new Scrapping Garden logo (not the current one in their website,I guess they haven't updated the blog yet) is a Filipina? Ate Jen is a fellow Bebot, and a real talent. I saw the logo in the magazine, and I told my sis about the story. Can't help but be proud. Hihihi. I've met her once before during the Bebot's EB :)

There. I wasn't as stumped as I thought I was. Hehe.

A tag, a new blog for money opportunity and a funny video

Monday, June 18, 2007

Mami Carmie tagged me :) I am to list 6 weird things about me (although, she did 7 in her blog mwehehehe). Here goes:
  1. I have a very high tolerance for pain and heat. I take hot baths at noon and can sleep with comforter & closed windows even during summer;
  2. I am very Filipino but I don't like eating Adobo or anything that is cooked with vinegar;
  3. I can be so OC and paranoid about a lot of things. One time I felt sooo bad when someone "took" our regular bench at GHBC for two consecutive Saturdays...I had to do something about it on the third Saturday. I also have a thing for scrubbing things (plates, pots & pans, sink, the toilet..etc etc);
  4. I am calm when my voice is very clear, sometimes too loud (because of the hearing problem) but when I am mad, I am usually low-voiced;
  5. I do not feel complete if I don't have a pen in my bag (forget the mobile phone, or the license, but not the pen!);
  6. I eat Pakwan (watermelon) with Patis (fish sauce). Yum! Try it! :)

There. :) I don't know whom to tag anymore so if you are reading this and haven't done this yet...I am tagging YOU!

Moving on, I signed up for another blog-for-money site, Blogsvertise, this afternoon. As you must know by now, I am making some extra money just by blogging about certain advertisers. Blogsvertise falls in that category. I have already registered and I am just waiting for their approval. Once approved, I will be assigned to mention, talk about or incorporate certain advertisers in my blog entries. I do not need to endorse anything. Including links to the advertisers' website is usually enough. After the entry is posted, it shall be approved and all I do next is wait for the payment via Paypal. :)

It's 11pm already and I should be getting ready for bed. (I've been sleeping late the past few days!) But before I go, lemme share this very funny video sent by RL via email: - Japanese Tetris

Have a good night!

Long term plans

One of my family's long term plan is to be able to invest in a really nice house here in the States. It could be a place where we can stay while we take a break from Manila or a place which we can rent out (something that is more lucrative, if you ask me). In five years or so, we'd probably need to hire the services of a realtor, someone who can provide the expertise and advice we need.

For now, we need to continue dreaming and working. Don't you agree?

A portraitless wedding

If I were the Bride, I would have cried. But it wasn't MY wedding but someone else's.

On Saturday morning, we headed out to Los Altos (a very posh community, indeed) and straight to the estate on top of hill. We got there just before 10am and the bride was just having her make-up done. Our cameras were ready and we started snapping away. You see, Ane and I stood as Kuya J's assistant (we got to take pictures too, coz we had two DSLR's) to cover the wedding of a client. We were excited to do this that we even did an ocular of the Church and the reception venue the day before. Our little dilemma started when we asked the Bride's mom for her daughter's accessories. Everything was not ready yet! The wedding was at 2pm and 20mins away from their house. The flowers aren't there yet. And the other things like the Bible, the pillows, everything...are already in the church! Oh well, they were afraid they'd forget something at home so they decided to leave everything with the church coordinator the day before when they has the Rehearsals. All we had was the invite, the gown and veil, the shoes and rings. If Clarice were coordinating this wedding, she would have freaked out! The bride's attitude was "let's just get this done and over with", because it didn't matter anymore whether everything turns out fine or not. Even the pictures.

We were not served lunch but there were Danish bread and fruits on the table. That was it. We're just too glad we had some heavy breakfast before we left the house. So we were just there waiting for the bride to get dressed. The Father of the Bride, of all times got sick and wasn't ready until 5minutes before we left for the church! The bride on the other hand was taking all her time getting dressed, even had the time for some yosi. We were waiting for her to come out of her room by the hall and she suddenly came out with everything she needed for the hotel! SO how are we supposed to shoot her huh? If she were ready to go at 110pm, do you think we'd have the time to make them pose for a family portrait at least? Nah! So we only captured her and her family going out of the house and getting into the limo. Sheesh. We had to rush to the Church (Church of the Nativity in Menlo Park) so we could take pictures of the groom (who was simply georgeous, oh my!), but when the Bride decided to step out of the limo (owing to the fact that it was really hot inside the car), they had to ask the Groom to stay out of the way lest he'd see a lighter note, though, the Church was a simple one yet very cozy and nice.

The processional started ten minutes after 2pm (late because they had to let all guests in before they started) and we were restricted to take pictures at the back, from the last pew where guests are seated. (!) So you may guess that our shots were very limited, very few. That was a bummer! Can't even take pictures with flash!

After the mass, we had to hurry and finish the pictorial inside the church because of time constraints. We just had the family shoot inside and then we all settled for the courtyard. When we were done with the entou, everyone was rushing to get to the reception at Four Seasons (wow!). Still no portrait shots of the newlyweds here! We decided to just shoot in the hotel coz we found some really nice angles around there.

We got to the hotel, okay, but as soon as the limo arrived, the couple was hard to pin down in one place! Kami'y mga sawimpalad! It was so frustrating, mind you! By then, I was having some migraine attacks and could not hold myself up anymore. Of all days, meyn. There were crew meals in the conference room (but it was only later that we found out about it, those darn videoguys didn't even tell us where the food was!), but I could not eat a single bite, or else I will just puke. I excused myself and took a nap in the car.

An hour or so passed and I was almost okay. I went back to the party, and everyone was having a blast! They owe it to the DJ who had a lot of gimmicks just to make the party moving. :) Costumes here and there, dancing music and lotsa booze! If not for Mr. DJ, the party would have been a big flop.

By 10pm, the party was almost over and guess what?!? Still no portraits of the newlyweds! We were waiting until the guests have gone but the couple looked so wasted already. Our last resort?!? Handy-dandy PHOTOSHOP! Mwahahahahahahaah....

Nope. Not crazy yet. Just frustrated. From today til the next few days, am probably gonna be busy Photoshopping.

Let's pause for a break...

Ane and I have a friend who used to work for an online store. She worked from home and we got really curious how her boss got in that kind of business, especially that we have immediate relatives here in the US. We figured, it would be easier to get contacts and networks who will patronize our products and services. Our curiosity grew one day when my brother in-law told us that it is possible to set-up an online store. But we forgot all about it, somehow.

Now that we have a lot of time to spare while we are here, there's nothing else to do hehe, we thought of the same project again. Maybe we could start with finding a domain name, a webhost and an applicable shopping cart software. Visiting the site, I realized that Ashop is actually a one-stop shop that makes the process even faster. Their ecommerce software can get us started with our online store in just minutes!

Hhhhmmm. we'll see :)

Disneyland Adventure

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Warning: This is a four-day kwento, so it will be long :) Am doing this because I do not trust my memory.

Monday, 11th of June

We woke up just before 6am to catch our 840am flight. I was still sleepy because we slept late last night. We got to SJ airport at 7am and immediately checked-in. We got some breakfast from Burger King and waited at gate4. The news was on at the boarding area and there was a story about a roller coaster in Arkansas that was left hanging upside down. So Ane and I decided not to ride the roller coaster anymore at California Adventure. We can't be too sure eh? (We're just paranoid, hehe).

Our plane left on time and after an hour or so, and a very bumpy flight, we landed at LAX already. We got our small luggage and asked where we could find the center island. We knew we had transportation already included in our package. We just didn't know it would be a big bus where all tourists from all hotels within Anaheim Resort can ride. We thought someone with a placard will come and get us to our hotel. Hehehe, paimportante pa. The bus ride was about 45mins long. We got to our hotel and our room simply exceeded my expectations! I didn't know there were two Sheratons in that area (Anaheim and Park at Anaheim), and we got the better one (Sheraton Anaheim got really ugly reviews)! I was so happy to get this room. Yup, there were two queen-sized beds! You bet, Ane and I was so glad to have two big beds. But we ended up using just one, hihihihi. We were on honeymoon mode! Our package didn't include breakfast though, which wasn't a big deal anyway.

By then, we haven't eaten lunch yet (around 1pm) but we decided to go the Disneyland right away and get our three-day parkhopper tickets (Disney and California Adventure). We told ourselves we will just go in and check the place out first then we could get food outside. We entered Disney and you bet we can't get ourselves to go out anymore for food! Not to mention the long walk going to the park, we felt we belong in the "happiest place on earth". There we were, mesmerized by all of it. :) We got to Main Street and saw the left-handed Pluto right away! We got our pictures taken and we noticed some kids having his autograph taken, which was cute. Ane's eyes met mine and after talking about it, we got ourselves our own authograph book with matching pen! [Later, we found Pluto again, and guess what, ours was a right-handed Pluto...hhhmmmmmm] You know, one thing we realize the minute we got there is that -- it is okay to be silly...Silliness is accepted in the place where parents, not kids, get lost.

Our agenda for our Day1 was to stalk the characters for pictures and signatures (hehe), study the map, find a way to ride Pirates of the Carribean, and watch the Parade and Fireworks that night. We did all that and more! Although we didn't see all the characters on day1, we were able to do most of the things we planned to do plus all the unplanned ones. We almost forgot to eat but somehow, we were able to grab some pizza and soda. The Pirates ride had a long queue but we got in in less than 1hour. Twas a pretty cool ride if only the girls riding behind us in the boat did not scream just before the short drop in the darkest part of the ride! Talk about spoiling the adventure for us, tsk. We also did the Haunted Mansion, Tiki Room, Jungle Ride and Indiana Jones (among others) where we didn't mind waiting in line. We knew there were fastpasses in some of the attractions but we were happy just as it is waiting, because that meant some talk time for us. :)

We caught the 330pm Parade near "It's a small world" and we were like kids in awe. Disneyland has always been a dream. And just being there, one of our dreams came true right before our eyes. Call it silly (even if I wrote earlier that silly is not taboo there) but I almost cried. I wondered at what age we will ever be capable of bringing our kids there. The Fireworks display at 925pm was equally awesome, it sent goosebumps all over me. I was choking and trying to keep the tears from falling. I was just sooooooo elated!

The park's closing was at midnight but we decided to leave and rest after the Fireworks show. We grabbed some dinner at Mcdo and headed to our hotel room. We called it a night after showering. It was a long day!

Tuesday, 12th of June

There is a newly re-opened attraction at Disney, the Finding Nemo Submarine Ride, so the lines were obviously mighty long. Since our tickets included one-day early entry, it meant we could enter the park at 7am. We planned on waking up early that day but alas, we woke up at 10am, even with the alarm and all! We jumped out of bed and arrived at the park just before noon. We failed to grab some brunch coz we hurried to "Find Nemo" (no fastpasses here). When we got to main street, Mickey, Donald and Minnie (whose authograph we got yesterday already) were there for photo-ops! I hurriedly fell-in line for Mickey but he left even before I got to him. The attendant said we could find him in his house in ToonTown. Sayang, we should have lined up for Donald instead since Ane wanted his signature badly! But we missed him too after Mickey left. Sigh. But we were able to meet up with Mickey behind his house in the Barn.

We headed on to Tomorrowland and found that the waiting time for the Nemo ride was 3hours. Three hours! We definitely wouldn't want to wait that long, noh? We promised ourselves that we should be in the park by 8am the next day, no excuses whatsoever, hehe.

We hopped on over to California Adventure where the crowd was much more tolerable :) We did the Monsters's Inc ride and then we got curious and queued at the Hollywood Tower Hotel, which turned out to be the Tower of Terror where riders are seated in elevators, and dropped abruptly! Now of course, we didn't know that! Had we known, we wouldn't even dare at all but we enjoyed it immensely! The 4D show, "It's hard to be a bug", over at Bug's Land was a nice surprise and instantly became my favorite. We rode the rapids (an Indian family cut our line but then nobody complained anyway, so we just let them) and got wet a bit then met Tow Mater and Lightning McQueen by the streets. By 530pm, it was time for the Block Party Bash which was as fun as the Disney Parade :)

That night, we were also scheduled to meet up with a childhood friend of mine, Weng, who is currently based in Van Nuys. She texted that she'll be late for our 730 agreement and told us to expect her by 8pm. To be more productive of our time, we stayed in CaAd and lined-up for Soarin' over California, a must-try according to my sister and BIL. Just before our turn, a sign was posted saying that people who are afraid of heights should not ride. That is me, certainly! I would have backed-out but Ane promised it would be okay. It was not. I did not enjoy it at all. I was stiff and holding on to my seat and was just looking straight all the time. The ride is a simulated tour, as if one is riding a glider, and one's feet are suspended on air. I was freaking out, I tell you!

By the time we were done, Weng already texted that they were already outside our hotel. So we ran to Sheraton and found her there in her car with her two friends, Rusty (who I also know from grade school) and Malou. We drove along Harbor Blvd, looking for Red Lobster but didn't find it so we settled for Tony Roma's. It was a nice dinner and chat session. It's been years since Weng and I saw each other. We parted ways around 1015pm and we forgot to take pictures! Ugh!

Because I had too much to eat, we dropped by 7-Eleven to get some coffee before we headed to our hotel room. We got ready for bed and fell immediately asleep as soon as Weng texted they were already home as well. :) We were so thankful that she was able to see us and drove 45mins (one way) just to treat us to dinner.

Wednesday, 13th of June

We did get up a bit past 7am and were able to enter the park at 810am. We were already at the end of the line at the gates when we got there so naturally, the line at Nemo was already long when we got inside. We were told it would take an hour and 20mins for our turn, but we were ready for that. I left Ane at the line and bought ourselves some breakfast :) When I got back people around us were teasing -- "That's not fair!", "Share your breakfast!", "Oh, thank you for breakfast", "That was smart of you to do that!" etc etc. It was so funny because people are obviously clamoring to ride the sub that some missed to eat their first meal. The Nemo Sub ride was the longest attraction in Disney at the moment, lasting for 14mins. But sadly, I believe that it is a bit overrated as the other attractions were better, IMHO. Talking with Crush, Live at CaAd was more entertaining! Ane and I enjoyed the sub ride just the same.

The rest of the day were spent stalking some more characters, re-riding some of the attractions (in both parks but not Soarin' again, heheh) and just enjoying ourselves. We also bought ourselves (and Joaquin) a pair each of Mickey Crocs and some Jibbitz to go with it. We are not really Crocs fans (Go Havis!) but the Mickey Crocs are worth the memories we could keep so we grabbed 'em. :)

We were really tired by 3pm so we decided to head back to the hotel. But only after we strolled in Downtown Disney where we went into various shops. The Anne Geddes store took my attention and there I found some newborn baby dolls being sold. The dolls looked so real and if they were not too expensive at $215, I would have bought one right away! I have my Sissy already and I guess it's about time she gets a baby brother, eh? Ane said if it is that steep, maybe we should just make our own baby? Hehe.

After the stroll, Ane didn't want to go back to the Harbor exit because it was far. So we found a map that leads to Katella Ave access to our hotel. Now if the map we saw didn't have too many "you are here" marks, then we would have found our way fast enough. We got lost in Downtown Disney and found our hotel a bit after 5pm. Because we were just walking (and have been walking the past three days), my legs were already shaking I was just glad I did not collapse. We bought some hotdog sandwiches at 7-Eleven and stayed in our hotel room all night long. I was in pain and could not move my legs anymore. I felt paralyzed! Hehe. So it was a long restful sleep for us.

The next day, we were San Jose bound. Checked out of the hotel at 930am, we were already at LAX by 11am. We were so glad to see Joaquin waiting at the Arrival area with his Dad. The boy was happy to see us again, and even welcomed us with "Hey, you're back!!!!!".

There, I am done writing about our Disney Trip :) This is a loooong entry, I hope my grammar and spelling errors are minimum hheheheheh. Next on my agenda is to scrap, scrap, scrap and/or post our pictures (including the other pictures form our previous trips here)! But after am done with the wedding album I was paid to do mwehehehehe...

Am earning extra!

At first I did not believe that I could actually earn extra money (in USD, which is a plus) while blogging. One of my online buddies actually earn more than she thought she could just by doing what she likes, writing. Even my Ane was having second thoughts about this. He's just afraid I could get scammed by the things I see on the web. While here in the US, I even opened a bank account with my sister just so I could sign-up for Paypal (which is the only system used to get paid).

And then I came across Bloggerwave. I received an email just before we left for LA that one of my posts has been approved! See I just wrote something about an advertiser (actually visited their site before I submitted my post) which took me less than an hour to compose and soon I will receive the payment. Easy! :) Go on over to the Bloggerwave site and see how you can start earning yourself!

Now I am dreaming of OUR own house

Sunday, June 10, 2007

After mass today, we all went to Ikea to buy a few stuff. Since my sister's family just moved in to a bigger apartment, they figured they needed some new things for the house. Boy, I was in heaven just looking at the things in there! Our future house became so clear in my mind. I can't count how many times I told Ane how excited I am when we finally build our own and fill it with various fixtures and furniture :) I was more excited because yesterday, we visited a model-house near 101 and realized that such design is perfect for us, small yet maximized in terms of area!

Back in the Phils, we are staying in a studio-type pad above my in-laws'. In a few years, we plan to build our home on a small parcel of land we already own. Last year, we asked my FIL (since he is in construction) how much it would cost us to build a house. He said around P10k/sqm, no furnishings yet. Whoa!

So now, I am back to dreaming. Just dreaming. Today, I had fun collecting Ikea catalogues. Nice to look at, really. But that is where my reality struck...that we can't afford a fully-furnished house. Not at this time. Not yet.

But I am sure we will get there ;)

Off to Disney soon!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Hubby and I are flying to LA on Monday courtesy of my sister and her husband. We will stay in a hotel near Disney Anaheim so we won't have problems with transportation anymore. It's exciting that we get to travel on our own. But it could have been a lot better if everyone of us will go. My sister's family have visited the theme park four times already. My family have been there once before. So to cut on costs, we all decided that just the two of us will go this time. We are honeymooners, anyway! Wink! Wink!

It is in our long term plans though, to visit the bigger Disney World in Florida. By then, everyone of us must be here in the US. It's gonna be a real holiday with the complete family (my parents, my sister with her family, my husband & I, and my two brothers). Maybe we will look for an Orlando vacation home, when that time comes.

In the mean time, I will just have to look forward to going to LA soon. Am also looking forward to see a few people, I hope we'll find a way to meet them there!

It's a meme!

Tagged by Aggie (well, she did tag everyone, hihihihi):

Yourself: bumming on this side of the world.

Your Partner: wonderful.

Your Hair: needs recoloring.

Your Mother: workaholic.

Your Father: strict.

Your Favorite Item: stud earrings.

Your Dream Last Night: interesting. (dreamt of giving birth to a baby boy!)

Your Favorite Drink: coke light.

Your Dream Car: RAV4

Dream Home: one with a big kitchen, big bathroom and big garage :)

The Room You Are In: dining area.

Your Fear: heights.

Where You Want to be in Ten Years: anywhere as long as my family is together.

Who You Hung Out With Last Night: relatives.

You’re Not: perfect.

One of Your Wish List Items: DSLR.

The Last Thing You Did: Laundry.

You Are Wearing: cropped denim pants, plain white shirt and house slippers.

Your Favorite Weather: sunny but not humid.

Your Favorite Book: Time Traveller's Wife

Last Thing You Ate: tortilla strips and salsa dip.

Your Life: deserves a break.

Your Mood: so-so.

Your Best Friend: always there.

What Are You Thinking About Right Now: what to have for dinner!

Your Car: borrowed.

What Are You Doing At The Moment: uh, blogging.

Relationship Status: still-on-honeymoon-stage-married.

Perfect teeth, anyone?

Friday, June 08, 2007

My siblings, cousins and I have become very particular about our teeth since I can't remember when. Call it vain, but we make sure that our teeth are perfect for beautiful smiles. My fave cousin even took Dentistry and married a Dentist! Just like this charlotte cosmetic dentist, my cousin and his wife make sure their patients receive only the best treatment. Am glad they are always there to assist us in our dental needs.



Thursday, June 07, 2007

I woke up this morning with a headache. I would have asked for some Tylenol but I figured I'd be able to get over this little pain once I've eaten. I remember going to bed at 1am late last night (or early this morning hehe). My head was spinning as a laid myself beside Ane.
No I wasn't drunk. I do not drink alcoholic beverages at all. So what was going on?

Oh well, Ane, Gi and I spent the day at Paramount Great America in Sta. Clara. Ane took on 4 rides while Bro and I conquered 7 thrill rides! So it just makes sense that even hours after we got home last, I was still dizzy and almost knocked-out (well, I had to take some assignments before I retired). Go check on the site: Gi and I rode -- Vortex, Demon, Grizzly, Psycho Mouse, Rip Roaring Rapids, White Water Falls...and Top Gun (we have a video of our entire ride of this monster hehehe)! My knees were shaking by the time Kuya J fetched us from the park!

I've would have rode the seven thrills all over again if I weren't too dizzy :)

Better business :)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

My Dad has been in the Restaurant business for almost five years now and I have been helping him with it since then. Recently, my brother decided to quit being an employee and joined me instead. As we were discussing about the things we can do to improve the business, we agreed that it is about time we do a little make-over of Ysidro's. We could change the menu. We could change the ambience all together. We could also face-lift the kitchen or maybe we could upgrade our catering supplies.

Now partners or suppliers for our planned changes may be hard to find. But masterseek may just be the place to visit online. I visited it and Masterseek happens to be a global search engine that has an extensive directory of millions of companies in 75 countries . This is where one may find quick and free access of company profile, contacts, and products & services that will perfectly suit the needs of one's business.

Can't wait to do this little project with my brother!

Chuck E. Cheese!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Since the parents and brother are already Manila bound on Saturday and Joaquin's Birthday is still a few weeks away, my sister decided to have an early celebration. We went to Chuck E. Cheese this evening! :)

We had pizza and salad and bottomless soda and lotsa lotsa fun! We got tokens bundled with our food order but Mommy and Daddy had so much fun playing that they ended up buying more tokens for all of us! Read: 200 tokens more! Hihihihi. See, each game requires only one token in exchange for tickets everytime we win. So we were there for about three hours and we were able to collect more than 2000 tickets! It wasn't tiring as the crowd was just few and the music wasn't too loud. The manang in me thought I won't be able to take it (you know, am not too keen on arcades such as CEC and Timezone).

Joaquin went home (in exchange for our winnings) with a CEC shirt, 5 mini-pirate toys and a bag of cotton candy. While we, the adults, went home grinning from ear to ear. I would gladly go there again :)

Same old picture

A few months ago, my Mom slept over at our house and noticed something about our bedside picture frame. I was totally guilty of something. The picture frames hold pictures that are exactly the same as that of the pictures in the frames I have had in my old room. The pictures are about 2 years old! Up to this day, the old pictures are still there. Maybe I am too lazy to change the pictures. Or maybe I am too stingy to have all of our pictures printed (there are a lot! Our wedding pictures alone counted to thousands!). Whichever the reason may be, I realized that I need to do something about those boring frames and pictures!

It's good, especially for a techie person like me, to find out about a digital picture frame that may be purchased online. I have yet to ask my darling husband to buy me at least the 7-inch one. Digital photos are in, and so are digital frames! Wouldn't it be cool to constantly see pictures being showcased in a digital picture frame? It's like displaying a slideshow minus the computer and/or the projector.

Less work, less cost. Sounds good to me!

Friendship through the years...

We met one of Mommy's old friends today. Tita S has been in the US since 1978, this is already where she got married and bore two girls. We were invited to her house located at one of the high end communities in San Jose. You can just imagine how awed we were when we got there. Tita has gone a long way since she arrived here, for sure.

Mommy and Tita S were HS buddies, riding the bus together to school and spent their entire secondary schooling as very close friends. The last time they saw each other was also the last time Tita went home to the Philippines...which is about ten years ago! Definitely much has changed. Mommy was even shy to call her when they got here. But guess what, Tita, upon learning my parents are here, called her relatives in Bulacan to find my brother so she would know how to contact us here. Now that's determination!

So we went to see her for lunch at their home. She even filed for a Leave from work just so she could spend time with her old friend. How sweet can she get? Mommy had a blast talking and catching up stories with her. Tita even has a collection of old photos, that she even has a lot of pictures of Mom too!

Not only the two were able to take a walk in the past, my parents are also assured that my sister and her family has found a new family here. :) I really admire friendships that last and survive the times. :)

There's money in blogging :)

Monday, June 04, 2007

I joined an online Filipino community where we were bonded by two things: a hobby and another thing. We all love digiscrapping and most of us blog for money. I never realized that staying in front of the computer, spending time in the internet and blogging (which I do almost everyday!) can earn me a few extra dollars.

I came across Smorty and getting approved was easy. I had a problem initially with my account but right after I sent an email regarding my concern, everything was fixed and my query was answered immediately. Smorty is a service where advertisers can be connected with bloggers like me. Advertisers can pay me to do a review of their site/services. This is the first time I am blogging to get paid and Smorty is making things easy for me. Links are already provided for me to include in my entries and it is as easy as it gets. Blog advertising is the "in thing", no wonder a lot of my friends are raving about this online business.

Not bad for someone like me who needs the extra money for things I want to buy.

Blogging while doing the laundry...

Yep, I am in the middle of doing laundry. I have to finish about 9 (nine!) batches today. Everything just piled up since we only did the laundry once last week. But then again, I don't mind doing it here because the machine makes things easier for me. Hehe. See I can even blog or watch TV or read anything I can get hold of or do another chore while doing this chore. :)

In the span of two weeks that we are here, I have learned so much about myself and my family - both good and bad. Sometimes it makes me sad that we are a not so perfect family but when I see or hear about other families, I realize that we are more lucky and fortunate than others. Family here is referred to as my biological one, my now extended one. My immediate family now is my Ane who keeps me focused and continuously makes me realize that whatever happens, I have him to hold on to. Wow, mushy.

I have been experiencing a lot of new things. I specially love that large strawberries are abundant here! Woot, woot! And that I always have fun playing with Joaquin (until he gets cranky! hehe) But I do miss home. I miss Kuya and Kei. I miss Flory, the one who does my pedi and Afey or Julie who do my facial! I miss the E's! I can't wait to be home again.

100% Free Calorie Counter

I have been here in the States for more than two weeks now. In a month, Hubby and I will be back to our normal life in Manila. My fear right now is hearing people tell me that I have gained weight during our long break. That is something I should be worried about since most of the time, all we do here is EAT! The fact that I do not sweat a lot here, does not help either. I should start watching what I eat just the way I used to.

I am glad that I heard about My Fitness Pal, a site that may help me do just that. It is a free site (no need to use credit cards!) that will help me track my meals with the free diet journal that comes with the membership. It is actually a site with free calorie counter. It is important to lose weight but the tools that I also get from joining will help me keep the pounds off!

One time, a friend asked me how much calories should a dieting person consume in a day. I told her the value. Now I can tell her to just go to this site so she will be more informed, of not just the value, but also the right food to eat, because the site boasts of over 6,000 items in the food database.


Sunday, June 03, 2007

I am so glad we headed to Monterey today. It's like seeing old California as we walked along Cannery Road. Gi was so excited to know that John Steinbeck happen to come from Monterey. We even saw his bust right at the boardwalk and most areas are named after him.

This is also where I thought I saw Hulk Hogan driving an MB convertible. I thought I saw him but Ane pointed out that it was just someone who looks like him! I insisted it was's that hair and beard and mustache that led me to believe it was him. But then the guy drove by again and we figured that yeah, it wasn't him. I was fooling myself hahaha.

Afterwards, we drove towards 17 Mile Drive where all the houses are gorgeous! I could only dream to have a house there! The road leads to the Lone Cypress and Pebble Beach. We didn't stay for too long coz we wanted to drive by Carmel Mission. We said we wouldn't go off the car anymore but when we got there, I was mesmerized that I just had to go and see the church. It is so beautiful, I told Ane I would want to get married all over again and we'll do it there! :)


Saturday, June 02, 2007

Hehehehe...I flooded my own blog. I just had to write about what happened for the past week. I hope you will check out my entries which i just back-dated :) Hay, I really hope I could post the pictures soon enough!

Disclosure Policy


Friday, June 01, 2007

The last few days were spent packing and unpacking stuff. Ate and her family moved to a bigger apartment. They must be glad we are all here to help out :)

We haven't done the laundry as well, and just thinking about it makes me scared coz am sure dirty clothes will pile up again once I start sorting them.

It's our 11th month today. Time sure flies so fast! We are celebrating our First year Anniversary next month!